What is the best pick among tablets for now for reading books?

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by macias, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. macias

    macias Member

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    Note: I have 12" eReader (iRex DR1000; avoid it) with e-ink display, so I know e-ink is better for they eyes. On positive side it is great the screen is "big" (I would prefer 14" though), however on negative -- it is too slow for me. That is why I would like to buy a tablet for reading books.

    When I say "book" I mean pdf file with fixed page size. When I say "read" I mean home, evening, 15-20 minutes (on average).

    So I could probably buy something around 10" but not smaller. I consider Motorola Xoom, Asus Transformer and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 -- if I miss any "big" Android tablet please let me know -- and as fallback option I consider iPad2.

    I assume the speed of them is almost the same (speed of turning on the tablet, opening pdf file and switching pages -- no animation, just "next page"). The one factor I don't know for sure about is screen.

    I don't know if it matters, so just in case -- I prefer to read with entire page per screen mode (it is OK with current 12" screen), if not possible I would like to switch "fit width to screen" and then read in contiguous mode (e.g. so when scrolling down page 1 a bit, I would get 90% of page 1, and 10% of page 2 on the screen at the same time).

    The question is -- which one of these tablets has the best screen for reading books (not watching movies, not watching pictures, just reading)?

    You don't have to compare tablets when answering, just post your experience:
    * when using tablet X, is there so much glare that you constantly have to move tablet for better reading angle?
    * when using tablet X, is the screen size is too small for "1 page per screen" mode -- keep in mind that I am interested in technical and scientific books, no Grisham or Clancy at all
    * when using tablet X,do you feel dizzy after M minutes of reading?
    * is the screen ratio OK or maybe it is so different than page ratio then the effective view size is 2" smaller than screen size (margins on top and bottom of the screen)?
    * in general, when using tablet X, is reading an effort/challenge or not?

    Please keep this topic as technically focused as possible -- screen and eyes issues only, thank you.

     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  2. ObsidianBlk

    ObsidianBlk Member

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    In terms of screen size, tablets currently only come in two primary sizes... 10" and 7". This could change in the future. And if you true only plan to read at home, in the evening, for 15 to 20 minutes, screen glare is a mute point as all screens are more or less acceptible in average interior lighting conditions. What you may really care about is screen resolution, in which case, Xoom, Acer Iconia, Samsung Galaxy, and Asus Transformer (as well as the apple tablet) all have high resolution screens (there may be others as well, but these are the big brand tablets I'm aware of).

    Regarding PDF viewing, its not so much a limitation of the tablet as it would be a limitation of the PDF viewer you use as to whether or not you can view a full page on the screen or not. I use ezPDF on my Acer iconia and it can easily do one page on the screen when viewed in portrait mode. In fact, I have read a few issues of Linux Journal this way. I also just recently noticed that adobe finally released Adobe PDF Reader for android and seeing as adobe is the source of the PDF format, their reader would.d probably have the best PDF support on tablets you could find.

    So, to sum up... most tablets (the big brand ones without question) should easily do what you want, and each of their screens are arguably the same (everyone has their own opinion on which screens the best). As for me, I read Linux Journal PDF edition on my Acer Iconia A500 in portrait mode, viewing a full page to the screen, and it looks and feels great to me (using ezPDF app).
     
  3. Xoom1

    Xoom1 Member

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    Galaxy tab 10.1 has the best screen.. The Transformer is 2nd.. There are facts to back this up.. The ipad 2 and Touchpad have lower resolutions,but it shouldn't affect reading anything.. If you don't have them side by side chances are you won't even know it..
     
  4. macias

    macias Member

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    Thank you guys. I thought Galaxy had the worst screen actually, because it is just TFT screen while Transformer and iPad2 have IPS screens (glare version; but Galaxy has glare too, if I am not mistaken).
     
  5. Tom T

    Tom T Senior Member

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    IPS screens, I believe, are capable of displaying more colors, 8bit compared to 6 bit of TFT displays. It can actually make a big difference in some applications but definately not for reading ebooks. I would think things like glare and viewing angle would be more relevant.

    Sent from my GT-P1010 using Android Tablet Forum
     
  6. macias

    macias Member

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    IPS (among other things) has better viewing angles. I have Eizo with IPS monitor at home (matte), and the quality is superb, I simply don't think how I look at the monitor, the image is top-notch. Quite contrary to my laptop with regular TFT display (matte too), every change in my position or a little twist of the display and I have darker or lighter image, so when starting work I have always to "setup" the lid.
     
  7. Walkop

    Walkop Member

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    The Galaxy tab doesnt have that good of a screen, macias; its the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that does. And, also, the Transformer has the most accurate whites of any tablet; whichshould be great for reading text. It is the third-best display next to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the iPad 2 according to scientific analysis by DispayMate (link: Tablet Display Technology Shoot-Out). Thee is a lot of info in that article, so take a thorough look ;) I own the Transformer, and the display is excellent. It is quite glossy in high-light conditions, but when reading inside it should be fine.
     
  8. macias

    macias Member

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    Unfortunate naming, I just wrote "Galaxy" for short, I meant 10.1, sorry for that. Thank you for the link, I will read it right away -- looks great.
     
  9. Walkop

    Walkop Member

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    No problem at all. And I also found that article to be pretty interesting:)
    Also, if I may make a note - the reason I was confused was (I think) because you mentioned it had a TFT display - in reality, it uses PLS, which is a derivative form of IPS. To the best of my knowledge it adds performance in almost every category; but you'd have to look that up to be sure. Also, I just thought I'd mention that the sequel to the TF is slated to be out in october, so if you wait till then you could probably get the current model cheaper; or get the new one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  10. macias

    macias Member

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    After reading the article (thank you again), I decided that iPad and Samsung are on par -- iPad has better screen ratio and more apps, Samsung (Android) has better screen and is more open. Both do not have USB port built-in. So no matter what would I buy, I would make a bit of sacrifice (USB), thus I will wait a little and read if anything that coming next would be like Samsung but with USB port.
     
  11. bclinger

    bclinger Senior Member

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    A major use of my Acer A500 is ebook reading using FBReader. It is often used for that purpose for much more than 30 minutes.
     
  12. Walkop

    Walkop Member

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    What about the ASUS Eee Pad Slider? Its supposed to be coming out this month - $399, sliding keyboard, USB, MicroSD and Mini-HDMI, IPS screen, likely the same one that's in the Transformer.

    The only downside is the weight. Its around a kilo (980g), quite a bit heavier than other competing tablets. Lighter than the Transformer with the dock (680g+640g) but otherwise quite heavy likely because of the built-in keyboard. I'd say research is the best thing you can do. Check out the Transformer 2; it looks to be the most promising upcoming tablet. Kal-El Processor, Ice Cream Sandwich OS, etc. Probably a lot thinner and lighter too. I may be biased to ASUS, but they make an amazing prodect for an almost unbeatable price.

    If you really want pure screen quality, and right away, the GTab or (shudder) iPad is probably your best bet. But I'd personally wait - see what the Transformer 2 and others have to offer. Even the TF now is a great deal for what you get, as well as the Slider.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  13. jaamgans

    jaamgans Member

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    You might also want to consider the shape of the pad - iPad probably has a more comfortable shape for reading in that it is slightly squarer. I occasionally find that the transformer is slightly to rectangular to make a great reader. If all you are doing is reading you really might want to consider the kindle as all the tablets are really rather to heavy for a major reading session, though you will be good for at least 20 mins.
     
  14. Walkop

    Walkop Member

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    I don't think weight will be a problem - not unless he's reading for an hour or more. you can always do things like propping it against your knee, etc. Kindle may be better for some reasons, but I don't think they make a 10" Kindle, which is the scren size he wants. Backlit screen too, right? I do agree on the rectangular screen part, but it isn't too bad.
     
  15. macias

    macias Member

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    Thank you for sharing the thoughts, Kindle is out of the question -- as I mentioned I own e-ink reader, it is simply too slow. In perfect world we would have fast (CPU+screen) e-ink readers, and I would buy it without hestitation :). Btw. Kindle DX is 10" I believe.

    I prefer shape of iPad screen, however I think I will get less problem with Android operating system -- easy copying file from Linux, and so on.
     

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